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RSNO - Serebrier Conducts Adler - American Record Guide

16 August 2016
American Record Guide
David W Moore

Samuel Adler is an American composer born in Germany in 1928. His music is strongly expressive and full of sonic variety and imaginative instrumental blends.

It is surprising that this is the first recording of his Sixth Symphony. It was composed in 1984-5 to commemorate Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky, but owing to various monetary and political matters it was not performed until now. It is a three-movement work in an attractively varied and very listenable idiom, basically tonal and exciting in its orchestral sound. So is the four-movement Cello Concerto, written a little later, and the tone poem that commemorates the wife of Dr Lewis Aronow in a description of life in our present world. This music runs the emotional gamut between meditation and hyperactivity.

The performances of this highly detailed and demanding music are quite convincingly handled by Serebrier and the orchestra, as one might expect. Hornung is a 30-year-old cellist who plays with sensitivity and works beautifully with the music and the musicians. The latter is important since this concerto requires close synchronization of both rhythms and instrumental balances. The recording is fairly distant but clear and well suited to the variety of colors in this fine music.

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